Should you workout alone, with a friend, in a gym group class or with a PT?

Should you workout alone, with a friend, in a gym group class, at home or with a PT?

I think you should try them all and see which one (or combo) is best for you.

If you’re new to exercising or need help with your training, I would start with a trainer, an experienced friend or gym group classes, to learn the ropes of this.
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There are also many forums where you can ask your questions, if you have any at this moment leave them in a comment below and I will answer as best as I can ASAP.

Let’s quickly look at some advantages and disadvantages of each.

Working out with a PT (Personal Trainer)

Advantages

  • Someone will check your form /workouts/nutrition if you’re already exercising
  • Holds you accountable and on track
  • You don’t need to know anything about exercising or put together the workout, the PT will do that
  • Gives you a reality check on your goals

Disadvantages

  • Can be expensive

Working out in a group class

Advantages

  • No need to put together a workout, just make sure to get some strength and cardio combo in your week
  • Can go with friends
  • You don’t need to know anything about exercising or put together the workout

Disadvantages

  • In busy gyms you might not get a place in a group class
  • Not all gyms have a good variety of classes, or the classes you want to join

Working out with a friend

Advantages

  • You’ll have someone to hold you accountable and motivate you
  • You can make a social activity out of it, less of a chore
  • It will get you two closer
  • Fun, fun, fun
  • How about a workout date with your lover?

Disadvantages

  • More chatting than working out can happen
  • Workouts usually take longer than if you do them by yourself
  • They might leave you :
    • Once you helped them reach their goal of getting in shape and healthy, they get married and move to another country, leaving you alone. True story 😦
    • Or you move far away from them and can’t exercise during lunch together anymore. True story 😦

Best for workouts where you can breathe, exercise and talk at the same time. Good luck with that one!

Working out alone in a gym

Advantages

  • Good for quick and efficient workouts
  • Good for thinking or zoning out
  • You don’t need to own any equipment

Disadvantages

  • It requires you to put together a workout or search for one, basically knowing what you’re doing
  • Depending on your goals and knowledge, this can be fun or a chore

Working out alone at home or outside a gym

Advantages

  • At home you have privacy
  • Don’t need to do the logistics around gym bags
  • You might need to buy some gym equipment
  • This might be the cheapest training

Disadvantages

  • It requires you to put together a workout or search for one
  • It requires you to be motivated and keep up with the workouts. If you can do this, then you’re my personal hero.

I currently train in a gym group class with a friend 3 times per week and 2 times completely by myself.


Gym essentials and suggestions

I work out 5 times a week, inside a gym, mostly during lunch time (1 hour and 10 min. for workout and lunch food).

Along the time I learned how to make my life easier and be efficient. I`ll update this list when I find the next great thing.

Here are my general suggestions:

      1. Get a membership to the closest gym to your work place/home
      2. Get a music player (something small) and put on music/stand-up comedy/audio books
      3. Have a complete set of gym clothes * how many times you want to workout. After laundry, put in a separate plastic bag each set of clothes+underwear+socks for easy grab and go during the week.

clothes for 5 days workout

      1. Cotton is not your friend, it soaks in the sweat, becomes heavy and doesn’t let body heat transfer. Try to buy moisture-wicking fabrics instead of cotton. Do not use softener when washing the moisture-wicking clothes.
      2. Sometimes, you can use the same pants twice (just make sure to hang them to air dry)
      3. If you work out during lunch, leave your toiletry bag and sneakers in the work office overnight
      4. Get a lock with code for the locker, not with a key
      5. Get a small water bottle (250ml) and refill it
      6. Towel
        1.  buy a camping towel (microfiber towel)
          1. it will dry fast
          2. it absorbs water faster than normal towels
          3. it’s lightweight and compact
          4. If you workout during lunch : find a place at work to hang the towel
          5. You can have 1 towel that you wash 1 time per week
          6. When washing it, don’t use softener, it will make it soak less water
      7. Get a hanging toiletry bag
        1. It’s great to organize your things, especially if your gym bag does not have many compartments
        2. If you have medium/long hair, always put extra hair rubber bands in your bag
      8. Hygiene
        1. You can use shampoo/shower gel to wash your hair&body
        2. Unless you worked up a big sweat, then you can use dry shampoo to freshen up your hair
        3. Buy trial/travel size shampoo/shower gel
        4. Budget version : buy a big bottle of shower gel/shampoo/body lotion and fill in smaller bottles
        5. If you buy flagrance shower gel/shampoo then you might not need perfume (or you can get a mini atomizer bottle and fill in with your perfume, or buy mini-perfume bottles)
      9. Make-up:
        1. To save time, put make-up on in the morning. Take shower but do not wet your face. Use makeup remover wiper to take sweat off, but do not touch eye makeup.
        2. Get a face cream with a pump dispenser
      10. Food:
        1. Make/buy food for next day`s lunch
        2. Sandwiches/wraps can be easily made and eaten at your desk
        3. If you get a quick workout then you`ll have time to eat in the office`s kitchen
      11. Clothes:
        1. The easiest to take off and put back on is a over-the-head dress
        2. Tight jeans after a quick shower aren’t easy to put on.

What have I left out?

And what suggestions do you have?

I updated this on 27 Sept. 2012 🙂


I do management by cookies

Ever noticed how different managers have different managing style?

Apparently there are just a handful of management styles and you better learn how to deal with each. Fear not, my fellow human, I come to your rescue.

Autocratic management style

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Makes decisions without much regard of your opinion
  • You might end up depending on them for supervision
  • They are control freaks
  • They like to yell decisions

TRANSLATION:

  • They look smashing wearing latex, leather boots and they walk around in Hitler style
  • You better learn German. Jawohl!
  • If you`re not in the army, you don`t have to put up with this shit. Go speak with a supervisor.
  • If it`s red and gives you the death look, walk away now.

Paternalistic management style

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • The manager encourages feedback
  • The manager takes decision while thinking of both the employee and company
  • Emphasis on social needs

TRANSLATION:

  • Who`s your daddy?
  • Warning, zone of hugs and talking about your feelings

Democratic management style

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Uses fancy words like “empowerment” and “leveraged synergy”
  • Will involve you in all decisions that concern/affect/need your expertise.
  • Management style that improves job satisfaction.
  • Slow decision making process.

TRANSLATION:

  • This is the “I don`t have a clue about what we should do, so let me hear your ideas”.
  • These are the friendly people.
  • Prepare to men up and take responsibility for your decisions and actions.
  • Guess what?! Someone actually cares about what you think ! AWESOM-O!

Laissez-faire management style

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Not much of a leader
  • Little communication and control of the employee
  • Best for creative groups

TRANSLATION:

  • Might be that your manager sucks. Might be that you`re a hard to control beast and your manager gave up trying. Down boy!
  • You might end up not knowing what your next tasks are.  Go and offer to help the new hottie.
  • Lots and lots and lots of freedom.

Management by walking around(MBWA)

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Good for managers who are active listeners
  • They get an idea of the level of moral/feedback in the organization
  • They get and provide unfiltered and in real-time information
  • Most of them are like a team coach
  • They leave most of the decision-making responsibilities with the employees

TRANSLATION:

  • These are the people who want to lose some weight and think walking around helps.
  • They tell you when you suck without further ado
  • They usually walk around like the Pink Panther, and always catch you when you`re browsing pOrn

Now, I`m new at this, but I can`t decide which one to choose, so I decided to try a mixture of these management styles.

MBC (Management by cookies)

CHARACTERISTICS:

  • This manager brings cookies to work
  • Smiles a lot
  • Asks a lot of questions

TRANSLATION:

  • Will get you addicted to sugar
  • You`ll get no cookies if you screw up and she`ll savor one in front of your drooling face
  • You don`t work for me, you work with me.
  • As long as you`re an employee of the same company, I will give you the same amount of respect as any other employee (no matter if you`re a temp, outsourced consultant or CEO)
  • I will listen to your complains
  •  I`ll try to pick up signals when you`re too tired or overworked and I`ll help out
  • Your job is always interesting to me, so I want to know how things work
  • If you did something good, it`s your merit. If you did something wrong, it`s my fault for not giving enough guidance
  • If something went wrong, I`ll focus on ways to avoid it in the future, not on who did it

FINAL NOTE : most managers change the management styles depending on the moon cycle and their life partner`s mood. 


How many people do you want to have under/on top of you?

Lately I was wondering what makes some people happy with their current job, what makes other want more, and how these are shaped in time.

In my latest wildest dream(literally) I told my interviewer that I want to get so high in the food chain, that when I’ll screw up really bad, they will fire me and nobody else will ever hire me again, and possibly go to jail. But, of course, I will never get there because I enjoy baking muffins.

So, tell me, what’s your career goal (thus the title of this post), why and how has it changed over the years?

P.S.  this is my way of dealing with possible competition, because
research shows talking about your goals lowers the probability
of achieving them - more about that here.

Why you should hire inexperienced people

I was searching for a job as a Junior Project Manager in IT and got frustrated with the requirement of having 5+ years of experience.

Why (I think) companies should hire non-experienced Juniors:

  • Can’t have 5+ years of experience of Project Management when I’m young and just finished my master degree (unless you count the management of my umbilical cord 23 years ago and then I should apply for Senior positions).
  • Inexperienced people have something to prove and they will pay attention to you, research ways to improve the work and they will fall for the office pranks easier (increasing the quality of the environment and lowering the stress of the other employees)
  • Inexperienced people are a tabula rasa when it comes to the company’s (boss’s) needs, desired and way of doing things. So it will be very easy to potty-train one, instead of trying to overwrite.
  • Young and inexperienced people are fun to have around, energetic and workaholics
  • And they have many other fun features, that you’ll discover only by hiring one

Bottom-line, give us a chance.